Engineers release election manifesto

Posted on 24 Apr 2015 by The Manufacturer

Engineers have called for political parties to pay greater attention to training

Matchtech’s engineering manifesto shows greater investment in STEM apprenticeship schemes is a top priority to UK engineers

Supporting the growth of UK engineering talent has not been singled out in any of the main parties’ manifestos despite significant growth of the sector and its vital role in supporting infrastructure development.

Two fifths of UK engineers believe that greater investment in STEM apprenticeship schemes should be included in political parties’ manifestos, making it their top priority.

Engineering recruitment specialist, Matchtech, asked over 3,500 UK engineers about the policies they would like political parties to include in their manifestos to drive growth and recruitment in the engineering sector and secure its future as a global centre of engineering excellence.

The engineers’ manifesto’ reveals:

  • 41% want greater investment in STEM apprenticeship schemes
  • 29% want a reduction in University fees or provision of additional financial support for those studying STEM subjects. 13% want to see an increase in the number of hours pupils are required to spend studying STEM subjects in schools and college and 13% also want investment in a campaign to get more STEM graduates to go on and pursue engineering careers
  • 26% want to see a clear strategy for future investment in UK energy infrastructure and clarity on the energy mix
  • 26% want more infrastructure investment to boost jobs and create a foundation for future economic growth
  • 21% want greater tax breaks and subsidies for organisations investing in engineering and industrial research and development and 20% want a reduction in corporation tax for manufacturing and engineering related businesses
  • 17% want to maintain UK membership of the EU where as 14% want the UK to withdraw from EU membership
  • 6% want work visa and immigration laws relaxed for skilled engineering professionals
  • 2% want a minimum quota for the employment of female engineers

Keith Lewis, chief operating officer, of Matchtech Group Plc said: “All parties have highlighted the importance of infrastructure and housing in the UK economy, yet none have announced any policies that will support UK engineering, which provides the foundation for economic growth. There needs to be a focused effort by the next government to ensure that the UK has the engineering talent it needs.

“Over the past year or so, there has been a surge in investment in infrastructure projects and as recent car registration figures have indicated, many engineering based industries are feeling the benefits of the improving economy. However, we need skilled engineers to support this investment and business growth, and clearly engineers believe more needs to be done to ensure this vital sector prospers in the long term.

“Presently a shortage of trained engineers creates a challenge for the future of UK engineering, with uncertainty for businesses that need engineering talent to deliver on new projects and grow profits.”